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Farmer pessimism increasing over current conditions

Photo courtesy of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA)

A monthly measure of farmer sentiment shows producers are more pessimistic about current conditions. The monthly Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer slipped to 121, down three points from August. However, the Index of Current Conditions, a sub-index of the barometer, dropped 22 points to a reading of 100. The barometer is based on a mid-month survey of 400 agricultural producers across the United States. A reading of 100 is considered neutral, with anything below negative, and anything above, positive.

Despite the weak near-term outlook provided by farmers, they expressed some optimism about the future. The Index of Future Expectations rose six points compared to August. In the September survey, only one in five producers said they expect profitability to decline over the next year, compared to 41 percent back in May. Organizers say this could be a signal that farmers expect better times in 2020 compared to 2019, possibly because they are looking forward to a return to more normal growing conditions and crop production.

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